x
Breaking News
More () »

Vaccine mandate deadline for San Diego city employees has arrived

The San Diego City Council Monday passed an emergency ordinance requiring all city employees to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19 by Wednesday, December 1

SAN DIEGO — The deadline for city workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is Wednesday, December 1 and included in the mandate are all San Diego police officers. 

The San Diego City Council Monday passed an emergency ordinance requiring all city employees to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19 by Wednesday, December 1. All employees who are not vaccinated will risk termination. The mandate will also apply to all future city employees. City contractors also must be fully vaccinated, but they have until Jan. 3 to do so.

The council voted 8-1 to pass the mandate, with Councilman Chris Cate - the sole Republican on the council - as the lone no vote.

The city has not made it clear what will happen to any city employee who is only partially vaccinated by Wednesday.

In a survey released in September, around 90% of the 733 San Diego Police Officers Association officers polled believed getting the vaccine should be an individual choice. More than 300 officers said they'd rather be fired than be forced to take the vaccine.

SDPD Chief David Nisleit said the possibility of losing officers due to vaccine mandates was an issue.

"That's concerning, the possible impacts of if we were to lose officers, you look at this police department, our ratio of officers to citizens is second-lowest in this nation, so obviously that impacts our ability to respond to crime," he said.

San Diego Police Officers Association representatives said the mandate would cause police officers to leave the city for other municipalities that do not require vaccinations.

The association represents more than 1,800 employees, around 700 of whom have refused to be vaccinated so far, said Jack Schaeffer, the SDPOA's president.

The city will continue to allow its employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine while on the clock, Gloria's office said. To help employees comply with the mandate and receive both their first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, San Diego has provided opportunities for on-site, walk-up vaccination at various city facilities and across the city.

To date, nearly 1,300 city employees have been infected with COVID-19 across all departments. San Diego has experienced staffing challenges because of staff being sick or having to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure, Gloria's office said.

As an example, Gloria said COVID-19 infections have resulted in delays in trash collection on 45 trash routes, 1,030 recycling routes and 45 greenery routes since July 2020. These delayed routes have impacted more than 1.3 million city residents, some on multiple occasions.

Additionally, as a result of rising positive tests, the San Diego Police Department has had to suspend its police academy operations on two occasions.

The San Diego Fire Department has also had to temporarily close two fire academies and make changes in operational protocols when more than 30 personnel were in isolation at one time due to positive COVID-19 tests.

According to city data, lost work time due to sick days from COVID-19 has totaled more than $3.64 million from Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30.

The city will provide medical and religious exemptions on a case-by-case basis, as required by law. But any city employee who refuses to get vaccinated and is not provided with an exemption will be fired.

City employees will have 30 days to prove they are vaccinated.

RELATED: San Diego City Council votes to move forward with vaccine mandate, as Dec 1 deadline approaches

RELATED: San Diego police officers, firefighters and other first responders protest vaccine mandate

WATCH RELATED: San Diego police officers, firefighters and other first responders protest vaccine mandate (Nov 19, 2021)

Paid Advertisement